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Finca dreaming

Hotel Corazón

A hotel built by artists for artists on a Balearic island is an idyllic getaway that includes a holistic approach to design and cooking.



When English chef Grace Berrow talks about cooking at Hotel Corazón, the internet’s current hôtel du jour on the Spanish island of Mallorca, it sounds like the ending of a self-discovery novel. “It has always been my great life dream to have a kitchen outside,” she says. “And especially in Mallorca you can be outside all day, every day, all year round. So to have that little kitchen – it’s literally just three gas hobs under a pink peppercorn tree – it feels amazing.”

Cooking nature’s bounty in the natural world with a gentle hand is Berrow’s way, fostered during her time working under Skye Gyngell at Spring in London’s Somerset House, where the food is a testament to celebrating produce and eating it at its peak. She went on to work as Emilia Clarke’s personal chef while the actress completed filming Game of Thrones, and then two years later decided to make a change – that is what brought her to Mallorca, first to head up beachy, farm-to-table restaurant Patiki, and then to Hotel Corazón earlier this year.


Interiors of Hotel Corazon; On the balcony of the restaurant.

Hotel Corazón is not like other hotels. Created by artists Kate Bellm and Edgar Lopez, the couple set out to do something altogether separate from Mallorca’s famed seaside tourist strips. “They wanted to create a hotel that’s really a hub of the melting pot of creatives that live around here in the mountains and in the valley,” explains Berrow. “There are lots of fascinating people from all over the world who lurk around here, but there wasn’t really somewhere where we could all go, to create together and eat together and hang out together, as well as having this beautiful old finca with a really lovely vegetable garden. It’s very much a hub of creativity.”

The food Berrow prepares at the hotel restaurant is not typically Mallorcan by any stretch, but it is absolutely a reflection of the weather and terroir of this place. One day it might be burrata with pickled quince, or shitake mushrooms with sage and tamari-cured egg yolks, and as winter approaches there are spoon-tender beef cheeks cooked long and slow and served with piquant pomegranate salsa. It all depends on what’s growing in the 50-bed Corazón garden at that moment – going forward Berrow hopes that some 50% of the fruit and vegetables served will be grown onsite. “I really think that it’s so important that you’ve eaten food from where you are,” she says, “for people to come and eat ingredients in their prime, in their season, in the environment where they are growing.”

For this chef, it’s about looking after her guests’ most basic need: food. “I want the people I feed to feel nurtured,” she says. “I want them to feel amused by all of the colours and textures that they’re eating.” It’s important to Berrow that patrons walk away full, but comfortably so, rather than fearing a bout of gout the next day. “I really want their tummy to feel good afterwards. I want them to feel like they’ve eaten a bounty of colour and flavour and that they’re satiated. But that they feel buoyant – everyone should be able to feel like that after eating. As well as feeling full, not to feel like you’ve been angelic, but that you’ve eaten a bit of everything.”


One of the rustic dishes - quince, burrata and garden herbs; The conservatory.

This holistic approach extends to the hotel’s design, too, which has the effect of soothing and inspiring those within it. Bellm and Lopez worked with local architecture practice Moredesign on the project. The firm are known for their signature flow design – with no lines or hard edges, it’s like chiaroscuro for interiors. At Hotel Corazón what that means are sinuous spaces that seem to envelop you in their folds – holes carved into walls in smooth; rounded curves; softly-textured finishes; and loose, natural fabrics that drift against surfaces in the Balearic breeze.

“The bedrooms are really beautiful,” says Berrow. “There’s washed-linen bedding, the lovely wooden beams of the hotel that the beds are made of too, and then huge linen drapes over the beds. The whole vibe is very lush and easy.” Rooms with names like Rosewood or Tramuntana Haze are like a 1960s take on what life on another, more romantic, planet might look like, with ethereal contours and otherworldly forms, all drenched in dusky pink tones that imbue the spaces with soft, warm light. With its chunky shapes La Cueva resembles a cave man’s abode for the Instagram age. Channelling the island’s Moorish history, with its flowing fabric and objets d’art, Baba Royale feels like the sort of space in which a Moorish king might lounge during scorched summer days.

Berrow describes summer in this idyll like every parent’s fantasy for a family holiday, “Lots of the people that I saw this summer were there with their little babies. There’s a lot of sitting around on big, squishy cushions and drinking juice, and pottering up to the pool.” Hotel Corazón attracts a certain type of crowd, “It’s very slow lane living and informal, and I think you couldn’t help but feel that here.” She puts this down to Bellm and Lopez’s approach, “Hotels can be a bit cold – like, I would never go to a hotel for lunch, really,” she confesses. “But this is different. Instead of having lots of people at their house all day, Kate and Edgar opened Hotel Corazón. They are at the helm, and they dictate the vibe, with artist friends constantly coming through.” When the garden’s persimmon trees overflow with technicoloured delights in October, the sweet, fudgy fruit is dotted around the hotel for guests to pluck, as if grabbing one from a friend’s kitchen island. “It’s very much like being in a big, beautiful, open house,” says Berrow, before ambling back to the shade of her pink peppercorn tree.

Words Freya Herring, images (by Kate Bellm & Anna Malmberg) courtesy of Hotel Corazón.

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